Mine, ah, I remember like it was yesterday. It actually wasn't the customer that was the problem, it was the waitress. I started in the restaurant biz super young and had a great knack for serving. I love people, I love food, and I actually love lists. It's a sickness, I know that and acknowledge it. When I write a ticket for a table, I start one place, go around and write everything in order, then punch it in at the POS. I try to keep everyone separate in their own little square - for no reason, or so I thought!
When my hubby and I purchased our money pit (I mean house), I took a second shift job waitressing a few nights a week. My place was a mainly a bar with about 20 tables close by. On Friday night fish fry - remember I am in Wisconsin - we opened the back room which gave us 20 more tables, plus a 20 top. We all had our areas and some of us had more tables than others because I worked with some ditzy people and 3 tables were their limit. Lucky me? I get 6 - 4-tops, plus I share the 20 top with whoever is running the adjacent area. But it's fish & salad bar, so how much easier can you get?
A large family with mom, dad, kids, kids families, etc. comes in. I believe it was about 18 adults and a handful of kids - 2 of the kids just ate free from the salad bar that is how little they were. Everyone was super nice! Mom's cleaning up after kids, I was always acknowledged right away when walking to the table, and please and thank you's abounded! They were the family you said please come back to and you actually meant it.
All was going wonderfully, when we got to the end. As per usual, when a large party comes in, you ask, "All together or separate checks?" They answered, put it on 1 and we'll sort it out. We get to the end, they ask for separate checks. I say GREAT! I have everything written down and our POS system was soooo easy to use it will only take me a few minutes. The other server, the one I had to share the tip with? Yeah, she flips out! Slammed her tray down, yelled at them that this is why we ask at the beginning, and said you can all sit down and wait until I'm done and it's going to be a while.
I was shocked to say the least and just kind of stood there with my eyes wide open but my mouth stuck shut. She did this in front of an entire packed dining room, during the busiest part of dinner service. Our manager heard her from inside the kitchen cooler! I swear it took me all of 5 minutes to separate everything - it was only 5 tickets total that we needed to separate. I brought the tickets to the customers, as the manager was talking to the waitress out back, and told them I'd be happy to take care of all the tickets for them either here or at the till. Half did, half walked to the till.
Then, 2 of the mom's in the group pulled me aside, slipped me a twenty and said, "Keep this for yourself only - that other lady is crazy!"
Soooo nice! (PS: I had to share that tip because asswipe waitress's son was a busboy and he heard the ladies give it to me, then ran and told his mom, who in turn whined to the manager.)
This waitress was the worst! I honestly know that the only reason she kept her job is because the owner felt sorry for her. She couldn't get hired anywhere else, had 2 fucked up kids (no, not fucked up like sick - fucked up because mom & dad like to drink, party, and not take care of their kids), and had absolutely no money what so ever, except if she wanted to go to the casino. I actually had customers call to make sure she wasn't working before they would come in! This happened more than once!
The customer's she told me that sucked were awesome! A quick explanation: Customers Bob & Jane, their 2 kids, and customers Don & June, plus 2 kids would come in after the kids had sports practice. They would sit at the closest table to the bar and waitress station, normally did apps only, but drank a lot. So, you might walk the 4 steps from the bar to their table a million times a night but they only drank bottles. The kids were totally respectful and they always cleaned up! They wiped up their popcorn if they spilled it!!! They also tipped by the amount of the entire bill, plus took into account how many times I went back and forth to the bar. They tipped very very well. How could you not love this table?
Cranky waitress? She "warned" me about them the first night we worked together because they never bought a lot of food and always wanted her to get them drinks. OMG - they actually asked you to do your job? How dare they!
It is bitches like this who do not deserve a tip. I am all for tipping, but I'm also against it if your waiter/waitress is crap. Tips are earned, not guaranteed, as I'm sure we all know; and sometimes the best service can still not be rewarded with a tip.